About Me

I write for CFO Insight, a trade magazine for financial executives. It's a mid-career change for me. I used to work in the Sustainable Economic Development practice of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit / German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in India. Before working for an international development agency, I worked as a management consultant for government and public sector agencies.

I started off with pure play strategic and 'performance improvement' consulting projects funded by donor agencies and implemented in government ministries and departments in India. This work can be interesting but often veers off in the territory of 75,000 feet recommendations such as "improve accountability mechanisms".

I then moved to IT consulting because I felt that even after the usual high altitude recommendations, at the end of the day, one still had to deliver a working IT-enabled solution.

This means that I am interested in development and aid in general but also interested in technology solutions to improve government. This can be an uneasy mix. Development projects tend to be crowded with economists focusing on impact and causality between variables. IT projects delve deep into project management aspects, debugging and business process-level minutiae. Development economists tend not to get into the processes and management of an intervention, techies tend not to think about long run impact and reverse causality so long as the solution that they designed works. Of late, my interests have been moving towards finance and management.

I write this blog to clarify thoughts, express opinions and exchange viewpoints with others. What I write reflects my thinking and biases, not those of others such as my employer or my mother.

The pen-name JabalporeJack comes from projects I worked on in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh (Jabalpore is a cantonment town in the state). I felt like an ordinary Jack finding my way in small town India, its government, its people, its politics and its culture. 

Ritobaan Roy